Friday July 19, 2019

USA observing CPR and AED Awareness Week from June 1-7, to save lives from Cardiac Arrest

The month of June is designated to raise awareness for the practical purposes and training of CPR & AED

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CPR training: CPR is being administered while a second rescuer prepares for defibrillation. Image source: Wikipedia

Back in 2007, the American Heart Association, The American Red Cross, and the National Safety Council joined forces and worked fervently to assign one week of the year for CPR & AED Awareness. By December 13 2007, Congress declared that the first week of June will be recognized as CPR & AED Awareness week.

Unfortunately for the people who worked so hard to designate one week of the year to raise awareness on these two rescue tactics, the first week of June coincides with a nationally recognized holiday; Memorial Day. They have taken it upon themselves to recognize the month of June as CPR & AED Awareness Month, as opposed to just using the first week to recognize such an important topic.

CPR and AED Awareness posters. Image source: cpr.heart.org
CPR and AED Awareness posters. Image source: cpr.heart.org

The purpose of raising awareness of this first aid training tactic is simple; to save lives. According to the American Red Cross, cardiac arrest is the one of the main causes of death in adults. These sudden cardiac arrests typically happen in homes. The mission of raising awareness is also to ensure that at least one person in every household has received CPR & AED training and can properly aid anyone who may need that specific medical attention.

CPR stands for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. It is a rescue technique that one individual applies to another who is suffering from cardiac arrest. It is a series of actions that includes compressing on an individual’s chest and breathing air into their lungs. The goal is to ensure that a person’s blood circulation and oxygen in their body stay at functioning levels.

An AED machine in Akihabara Wikimedia Commons
An AED machine in Akihabara. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

AED stands for Automated External Defibrillator. An AED is a machine that you can find attached to walls in many public locations. The defibrillator is used in very serious situations. When used, it restores an individual’s electrical signals to their heart. In these serious situations, if the AED is not used it could result in death or incapacitation.

The importance of CPR & AED is very blatant for anyone to see. It must be noted that these life saving tactics cannot be properly maneuvered if one has not been trained to do so. The attention CPR & AED Awareness Week/Month receives is beneficial to all. Many CPR/AED classes are available for people to take, and information is obtainable. Local events are typically hosted for the awareness week, and The American Heart Association encourages you to look into classes. The AHA also has free printable documents, which you can use to spread the word about CPR & AED Awareness Week in your very own community.

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Study: Intake of Dietary Supplements May do More Harm than Benefit

The doctor suggested that people should include more green vegetables in their diet

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dietary supplements
According to the study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, supplements combining calcium and vitamin D may be linked to a slightly increased stroke risk. Pixabay

Researchers have found that intake of some vitamins, minerals and other dietary supplements may not benefit the heart and, in some cases, may even prove to be injurious.

According to the study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, supplements combining calcium and vitamin D may be linked to a slightly increased stroke risk. However, there was no evidence that calcium or vitamin D taken alone had any health risks or benefits.

“Our analysis carries a simple message that although there may be some evidence that a few interventions have an impact on death and cardiovascular health, the vast majority of multivitamins, minerals and different types of diets had no measurable effect on survival or cardiovascular disease risk reduction,” said study lead author Safi U. Khan, Assistant Professor at the West Virginia University.

For the study, the researchers used data from 277 randomised clinical trials that evaluated 16 vitamins or other supplements and eight diets for their association with mortality or heart conditions including coronary heart disease, stroke and heart attack.

dietary supplements
“People should focus on getting their nutrients from a heart-healthy diet, because the data increasingly show that the majority of healthy adults don’t need to take supplements,” Michos said. Wikimedia Commons

They included data gathered on 992,129 research participants worldwide. The analysis showed possible health benefits only from a low-salt diet, omega-3 fatty acid supplements and possibly folic acid supplements for some people.

“The panacea or magic bullet that people keep searching for in dietary supplements isn’t there,” said senior author of the study Erin Michos from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the US.

“People should focus on getting their nutrients from a heart-healthy diet, because the data increasingly show that the majority of healthy adults don’t need to take supplements,” Michos said.

According to Abhishek Singh, Consultant Cardiologist at Columbia Asia Hospital in Ghaziabad, dietary supplements do not have a measurably positive impact on cardiac health.

dietary supplements
The doctor suggested that people should include more green vegetables in their diet. Pixabay

“It’s more important to follow a healthy dietary regimen and avoid foods that are bad for the heart. Trans fatty acids are harmful and have to be curtailed. Refined sugars and simple carbohydrates are to be kept at a minimum,” Singh told IANS.

The doctor suggested that people should include more green vegetables in their diet. They are rich in vitamin K and dietary nitrates, which help protect the arteries and reduce blood pressure, he said.

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“Studies like this raise concerns about harm from calcium and Vitamin D supplement use. As far as Vitamin D supplements (without calcium) are concerned, there has been no evidence on whether it has any impact on cardiovascular disease risk reduction,” Anupama Singh, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine at Vimhans Nayati Super Specialty Hospital in Delhi, told IANS.

“The quality of the evidence base of these various nutritional supplements and dietary interventions still needs to be evaluated to ascertain the effectiveness of the study,” she added. (IANS)